What if academics were as dumb as quacks with statistics?

October 3rd, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in methods, neurostuff, statistics | 39 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 10th September 2011

We all like to laugh at quacks when they misuse basic statistics. But what if academics, en masse, deploy errors that are equally foolish? This week Sander Nieuwenhuis and colleagues publish a mighty torpedo in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

They’ve identified one direct, stark statistical error that is so widespread it appears in about half of all the published papers surveyed from the academic neuroscience research literature. Read the rest of this entry »

Washing the numbers, selling the model

January 26th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in adverts, bad science, big pharma, medicalisation, neurostuff, regulating research | 57 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday January 26 2008

If there’s one thing I love, it’s academics who take on the work of investigative journalism, because they are dogged. This has been a bad week for the SSRI antidepressants. Read the rest of this entry »

This is your brain. This is your brain on politics. Any questions?

November 17th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, cash-for-"stories", neurostuff | 18 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 17 2007

Obviously we’re all interested in who the next US president is going to be, since it affects our risk of being blown up on the bus to work. According to the New York Times – which has covered this story at least three times – a commercial company which specialises in giving brain images to advertisers has discovered which parts of a voter’s brain are most activated by different candidates, by taking pictures of their brains while they supposedly think about them. Read the rest of this entry »